Sunday is always the day to relax, so that is what I am doing now: relaxing. I lean into the old torn up green sofa and reach for the black remote. Usually my family would still be sleeping- my mother and father probably are still sleeping. My three year younger brother, seventeen years old, Jimmy always wakes up whenever he feels, so I didn’t have an idea if he was up yet or not. I turn the television on, blinking as it turned on the wrestling channel. I sigh and roll my eyes-Jimmy’s doing, naturally. Quickly I change the television to the animal channel, relaxing when Cats101 comes on. I lower the volume to make sure I don’t wake up my parents.
Ten minutes into the program, I find myself attentively watching, not expecting a pillow to slam into the right side of my face. I stare, stunned, for a moment before turning to watch my brother laughing under the archway.
“Jimmy!” I say, exasperated and pick up the pillow off the floor. “That’s no way to say good morning.”
“Sure it is,” Jimmy says, walking over to the sofa and then plops down next to me. His light brown hair was sticking in every direction, but his hazel eyes were wide open with happiness. He was wearing a fresh white t-shirt and green sweatpants. “Watching Animal Planet, I see.”
“Yeah, and I woke up to turn the television on to the wrestling channel,” I say, giving my brother my ‘really?’ look.
“What?” Jimmy asks. “A guy can’t watch a good channel?”
“Wrestling is hardly safe,” I chide. “They can get killed.”
“That is what makes it fun,” Jimmy says. “Survival.”
I shrug in response. “Not an honorable way to go, just FYI,” I say and stare at the television.
“Not unless you’re a legend,” Jimmy replies and sits cross legged on the sofa. “So what are we doing today?”
I give him my ‘why are you still talking to me?’ look before thinking of a reply. “I was considering exploring the horse place.”
Jimmy nods his consent. “Well, I’ll go make breakfast then.”
I watch Jimmy get off the sofa and start to walk away when I pick the pillow up and throw it at him, cheering in my head when it hits him in the head. “Payback.”
Jimmy grins and picks up the pillow. “We’ll see later.”
I turn my attention to the television, listening attentively as the program talks about the Somali. My attention is distracted fifteen minutes later by knocking on the door. Immediately I turn the television off and head to the living room. Jimmy is already at the door, looking through the hole. After a moment, Jimmy opens the door, with me standing beside him. Standing at the door are two people- a guy and a girl, both around either my age or Jimmy’s age; the girl appeared to be about an inch shorter than the guy. Both had dark brown, almost black, hair, but what struck me were their eyes-they were mismatched. The girl’s left eye was brown while the right eye was grey. The guy’s eyes, however, had a more contrasting appearance. His left eye was a crystal, pure, burning bright blue, while the right eye was a piercing emerald green.
“Sorry for intruding on your time,” the guy says in a somewhat rough voice, possibly from being nervous. His face is cast down, almost as if he is ashamed, but he raises his head to speak. “My name is Misha and this is my sister, Masha.” Misha beckons to Masha beside him.
Brother and sister have closely related names-figures, I think, turning to look at Masha
“That’s awesome,” Jimmy says and then points to me. “We’re brother and sister as well. I’m Jimmy,” my brother says and holds out his hand to Misha, who shakes it almost timidly, and the Masha shakes his hand. “This,” Jimmy says, pointing to me, “is my sister Sadie.”
Masha glances at me and reaches out with her hand. I take it and shake it, giving a small smile, then I go to shake Misha’s hand.
“You guys new neighbors or something?” I ask curiously.
“We are” Masha says. “We were hoping to get acquainted with our neighbors. Do you know where Colton College is?”
“Sadie does,” Jimmy pipes up and I jab him in the ribs. “She goes there.”
“I can speak for myself, Jimmy,” I huff, but wind up giving a smile at my brother and then turn to Masha. “Are you guys going there as well?”
Masha nods in response. “We are new to there as well.”
“Being in a new place never gets old,” I say. “Well, you can take the street down for three blocks and make a left on Belkin Blvd. It will be right there on the right as you turn.”
“We will go check it out now,” Masha says, giving us a grateful smile.
“Thank you,” Misha adds and I’m almost startled that he spoke.
“Guess we will see you guys tomorrow,” Jimmy says.
“Indeed,” Masha replies and then she and Misha turn down the walkway to get into a blue Ford Focus, and then drive off.
“Wonder where they live,” Jimmy says, leaning against the door.
“Wonder where they come from,” I add. “I think that is the first time I’ve seen someone with mismatched eyes.”
“Fascinating, really,” Jimmy says and smirks at me. “Well, I’m sure we’ll see them tomorrow. C’mon sis.”
I follow Jimmy back into the house, making sure to lock the door behind me. I head into the kitchen, where four plates of food-scrambled eggs and bacon-are placed on the mahogany table.
“You are awesome,” I laugh and pat my brother on the shoulder, and then go to sit down. “You should be a professional chef.”
“Yeah, and then I could star on Chopped or Iron Chef America; one of those shows on the Food Network,” Jimmy replies and then sits next to me. “Scoot over.”
“What for?” I ask but do so anyway. “You’ve got plenty of room.”
‘Hey, I’m a guy, I naturally need space,” Jimmy replies and then stabs a forkful of bacon in his mouth.
“Whatever,” I say and roll my eyes, and then turn my attention to eating my own breakfast.
It only took a few moments before I heard our parents come downstairs. Both are wearing robes, and they look like they just woke up.
“Who was knocking at the door?” Our father questions, coming to sit on the opposite end of the table with my mother.
“New neighbors,” Jimmy answers. “They’re really nice.”
“I hope so,” our mother says. “We don’t need troublemakers.”
I roll my eyes in response and finish up my breakfast. Once Jimmy finishes I take our plates, put them in the sink, and then head upstairs with Jimmy. He goes to his room and I go to mine to get dressed. I chose to wear a light blue shirt with dark jeans and red cap that said “ONE” on the front. I grab my blue sunglasses off my bed and then head out of my room. Jimmy is already out of his room and is standing at the top of the stairwell, wearing tan shorts, a green t-shirt, sneakers and a green cap.
“Looks like we had the same idea,” Jimmy says, pointing to our caps.
“So it would seem,” I reply and then head downstairs with Jimmy. After telling our parents we were going out, I grab the house keys, put them in my pocket and then go outside with Jimmy.
“How much are we going to explore?” Jimmy asks as we walk down the street. Luckily there are a lot of trees in our neighborhood, so we get a lot of shade and heat isn’t much of an issue when walking. In addition there was a constant breeze.
`“We could check out what’s beyond that bridge we never cross,” I begin. “The one that looks highly unstable.”
“It’s the only bridge,” Jimmy says and then smirks. “We’ll do it if you don’t coward out.”
“I will not,” I reply and then take out my iPod. I put in my blue ear buds, change to a song, and relish when soft orchestra music started playing. Jimmy walks ahead in understanding and I follow happily. Music has always calmed me, made me feel like I can live through the day, no matter how trying. Music and my brother Jimmy. I honestly have no idea how I would have made it to where I am today if it wasn’t for music and Jimmy.
We arrive sooner than I think we would have. I put my iPod back in my pocket, making sure the music is paused, and then Jimmy and I climb the small hill to see the horses on the other side. A small river separates the two small hills. They are grazing peacefully, seemingly oblivious to the face we’re here. There are twelve horses total that I can see, which is double the usual amount we normally see.
“I did not know that there were these many horses,” I say to Jimmy. “Do you think anyone takes care of these horses?”
“Well, somebody had to bring them here,” Jimmy replies, “unless these are wild horses. The barn over there looks abandoned though, so if someone did bring them here, I doubt they are still around.”
“Then it would be no trouble in getting to the other side,” I say. “I’m sure that’s where the bridge leads anyway I reckon.” I start to head down the dirt trail to the bridge with Jimmy following me.
“You know what I’m thinking?” Jimmy asks behind me.
“What?” I ask, glancing behind me.
“That you and I are two little chickens tryin’ to get to the other side,” Jimmy says and grins.
I roll my eyes. “Jimmy, that why did the chicken cross the road joke is super old,” I say. “Besides, it’s a bridge, not a road, we’re crossing.”
“Ruin the fun, will you?” Jimmy says, giving a mock frown. “I’m hurt Sadie.”
“So sorry for your ego,” I reply, smirking.
We finally arrive at the small bridge, which is under a collection of large oak trees, providing shade.
“Ladies first,” Jimmy smirks, glancing at me.
“What, so if something happens, I’ll be the first to know?” I ask but walk to the front of the bridge anyway. The constant breeze is welcoming. The bridge looks old, frail, and is most likely not stable in the least.
“Wonder how long it has been here,” I say, testing my foot on the bridge that immediately squeaks loudly in protest. I can feel the rotting wood cave under my foot’s pressure, even though I barely put any pressure. I consider the possibility of falling into the ditch briefly below-that it wouldn’t be that bad, but the ditch looks deadly itself.
“Chickening out?” Jimmy asks from behind me. “I can go first.”
“I’m thinking, mathematically how I am supposed to cross this hazard of a bridge that hardly looks like a friggin’ bridge,” I retort. “Be patient.”
Jimmy holds up his hands in surrender. “Alright, alright,” Jimmy says. “Take your time, princess.”
I glare at him briefly and then turn my attention to the bridge. I test each section of the bridge until I find a somewhat sturdy spot and step on. After a moment of suspense, I glance down to see I am still on the bridge and let out a breath of relief I didn’t realize I was holding. I dash lightly to the other side, ignoring how much I was shaking by the time I was on firm ground. I turn to see Jimmy cross the bridge with ease and confidence.
“You could never do tightrope walking,” Jimmy says stopping beside me. “You’d ask for like a million pillows below you on top of fifty safety mats along with two safety harnesses.”
“Not all people enjoy those kinds of performances,” I say and huff with annoyance. “Let’s get back on track.” I turn to look around us. The scenery is still peaceful, but something tells me we are not in a comfortable atmosphere anymore. Soon enough we come across something that resembles a makeshift house. There is a single, very dirty and worn out mattress (some of the springs were showing), a ripped up blue blanket that has way too many holes to even be useful, and a small tilted wooden desk. On top of the desk was a simple green lamp.
“Do you think someone still lives here?” I ask, glancing around.
“Don’t know,” Jimmy says. “But they obviously aren’t here now.”
I glance at my brother and then walk slowly to the desk. I lightly tap the lamp, jerking back when it was hot to touch. “Someone was here recently.”
“Hey, Sadie,” Jimmy whispers, pointing to a wooden wall. On the wall are engravings and sayings along the line of “GET OUT”, “YOU’VE BEEN WARNED”, and “GO BACK”.
“Still want to continue?” Jimmy asks in a low voice.
Every inch of my body was screaming no. “Maybe there’s another way around.” I turn to exit the small ‘house’ when I hear leaves crunch.
“That was you right?” I ask, turning to Jimmy.
“No, there aren’t any leaves in here,” Jimmy replies, glancing down.
I glance down as well and my stomach gives a lurch when I see that there are no leaves on the ground, only dirt. I whip my head up, hearing leaves crunch outside again. I can’t pinpoint which side the sounds are coming from, so I constantly check both sides. However a shadow appears outside the east entrance and I narrow my eyes as I back away.
“If you got a gun, why don’t you show it first!” Jimmy yells and I stare at him in shock.
“Jimmy!” I hiss, shoving him. “What the heck?”
“Jimmy? Sadie?” The voice asks and we both freeze. The person comes around from the other side and, to be honest, I would be lying if I said I wasn’t shaking from relief.
“Misha?” I ask, tilting my head at the familiar shape. “What are you doing here?”
Misha makes a ‘shh’ motion with his hand. “What are you guys doing here? And I mean specifically in here?”
“We were exploring,” Jimmy answers. “Just a couple of chickens trying to get to the other side of the road.”
Misha frowns. “You shouldn’t be here,” Misha says sternly, his brown furrowing. “It is too dangerous.” Misha glances over his shoulder and then motions us to follow him. I follow immediately, and then Jimmy does. When we are about a yard away Misha stops and turns to us. I know it’s rude to stare, but I can’t help looking at Misha’s eyes. Each color is so distinct and bright; I almost feel drawn to them. Jimmy snaps a hand in front of my face and I almost let out a startled yelp-instead, I turn to glare at him. Jimmy points at Misha and I turn to face him, not realizing he was speaking.
“Don’t ever think of crossing that bridge again,” Misha says. “It stays like that for a reason.”
“I’m sorry?” I say, confused. “You mean to tell us that someone made that sorry excuse of a bridge like that for a reason?”
Misha nods. “To keep people away. The person made that very clear, I would think.”
“And you just happen to know this person?” I ask.
“No,” Misha responds. “Nobody was seen this person, but every day, as far as I know, there is a letter, a reminder, really, for residents around this area to not cross the bridge.”
“What happens if one crosses the bridge, like we did?” Jimmy asks, fully interested.
“Well, according to the letter, you die,” Misha says, his voice rough and serious.
“Has…anyone actually died?” Jimmy asks.
“I do not know,” Misha replies. “All I have heard is that the people who are foolish to try, have never been seen since.”
I turn to Jimmy, giving a shaky smile. “Glad that person wasn’t there, then, huh?” I say.
“So, does this person take care of the horses?” I ask, pointing to the horses across from us.
Misha glances over at the horses. “They look wild to me,” Misha says, then turns to us. “Did you want to see them?”
“Sadie does,” Jimmy says, pointing to me.
Misha glances at me and gives me a half smile. “C’mon, I’ll show you how to get across.”
Hesitantly I follow Misha down the slope of the small hill until we’re at the bottom near the river, which is somewhat murky when you look at it up close. A small hop across is all it takes to get across to the other side. We climb up the slope of the other hill until we arrive at the wired fence.
“Did you have any horse in particular that you want to see?” Misha asks.
“Not really,” I say, glancing at all the horses. “Do they have names?”
Misha shrugs. “Not that I know of,” Misha says and then points to a black horse not far off from us. “I call him Shotgun.”
“Shotgun,” I repeat, smiling to keep myself from laughing. “Why?”
“He’s extremely fast,” Misha says. “And very well tempered.”
“How would you know?” I ask, frowning. “I thought you were new to this neighborhood.”
Misha is silent for a moment. “I have been here for quite some time, actually, with Masha.” In one swift motion, Misha jumps over the barbed wire fence, landing safely on the other side. “You want to pick a horse or not?”
I glance back at Jimmy, who’s lying out on his back, sunglasses on. He gives me a thumb up and I smile, giving a thumb up back. I turn back to the fence, give a deep breath, and then hop over the barbed fence carefully, feeling relieved when I land next to Misha. We walk across the field until we come about three feet in front of the black horse.
“Hello Shotgun,” Misha says in a warm voice that’s gentle yet has a rough edge to it, and holds his hand out. “Miss me much?”
The black horse-Shotgun- bumps his snout against Misha’s hand, snickering in what I assume is a welcoming manner.
“Would you like to pet him?” Misha asks, turning to me. “He’s gentle.”
I nod and then walk slowly up to Shotgun’s side so I didn’t frighten him. I raise my hand and gently pet him on his shoulder, and am surprised at how soft he is. Shotgun’s ears prick up in my direction and the black horse turns his head toward me.
“Hello,” I say, stroking Shotgun’s neck. “You feeling alright?”
Shotgun gives a neigh of delight (I’m assuming its delight) and I smile, and then glance up to see Misha is already on Shotgun’s back.
“Let’s go find you a horse,” Misha says and Shotgun automatically starts to trot forward-I start in amazement at the amount of trust the two already have. I jog to keep up, glancing around at the horses. They are all beautiful without a doubt, and I wonder how I am even supposed to begin to choose a horse. We come across a pure white horse with a straight black mane. Shotgun halts to a stop and Misha gets off quietly. The white horse stares at me with blue eyes and I stare back with curiosity.
“The horse will choose you,” Misha whispers behind me. “If she does not see you worthy, don’t be offended.”
The white horse walks slowly over, each foot placed with grace.
“How does she know if I am worthy or not?” I ask under my breath.
I can almost feel Misha smile. “If you are not, she’ll kick you.”
I try not to let my restlessness show. Misha backs away and I hold up my hand in what I hope was a welcoming manner. The white horse lets out a snort and backs away a step, and then pauses, tail swishing back and forth rather violently. I wait patiently, though my mind is a scrambled mess. The white horse finally walks forward and presses her snout to my hand, snickering softly.
“Well done,” Misha says. “You got lucky.”
“She is very pretty,” I say, staring at the white horse in awe.
“What are you going to name her?” Misha asks.
I think for a while, racking my brain for a name. I didn’t want a common name, but I didn’t want a name so unusual that it would sound too odd.
“Vera,” I finally say and jolt in surprise when the white horse seems to voice her approval.
“Interesting name,” Misha says. “Does it mean anything?”
“Faith, in Russian,” I reply and stroke Vera’s neck.
“You know Russian?” Misha asks, and he seems genuinely interested.
“Ya nemnogo znayu russki?,” I respond, smiling slightly. “Very little Russian.”
“I can teach you, if you wanted,” Misha offers.
“With a name like yours, I am not surprised you know Russian,” I say and smirk. “But yes, I would like that.”
Vera bumps her snout into my side and I turn to her. “What’s up girl?”
“She wants you to get on,” Misha says, amused.
I blink in surprise. “I have never ridden on a horse before,” I say, looking at Vera, who gives a comforting nudge.
“She will help you,” Misha says and then gets on Shotgun.
I take a deep breath, and then jump onto Vera surprisingly with ease. Vera gives an amused snort and waits until I am comfortable.
Misha bumps his legs gently into Shotgun and the black horse begins trotting forward. I do the same motion, almost falling off when Vera jerks forward. It takes a moment, but I steady myself and find it isn’t that hard to keep balance. It takes me a minute to register that I’m riding a horse-actually riding-and I smile at the notion. Feeling brave, I urge Vera to go faster, and the white horse complies happily. I grin as I pass by Misha, who looks back with a challenging grin. We both begin to start racing, trying to see who would win-we’re almost always neck and neck. In the moment, I don’t feel afraid of falling off-I am enjoying myself.
“C’mon Vera,” I say lowly. “Show me what you got.”
Vera gives a determined neigh and pressed forward, rushing past Shotgun. I’m pretty sure that the speed Vera is running is abnormal for a horse, but I wasn’t complaining-instead I let out a laugh as we reach the end of the field before Misha and Shotgun arrive.
“Good job girl,” I say and stroke Vera’s neck. “You’re awesome.”
Misha and Shotgun slow down to a stop. “Well done,” Misha says.
“I hope you didn’t let me beat you on purpose,” I say, grinning. “That would have been no fun.”
“I promise you I did not let you win on purpose,” Misha says. “Vera is just a very fast horse. I’ve never tried to race with her.”
“Well, I’m glad I got her,” I say and turn Vera around. “Go back?”
Misha nods and together we race down back to where Jimmy is. Jimmy is still lying on his back, relaxing. When he sees us, he stands up and waves his hand. I get off Vera while Misha gets off Shotgun. I thank Vera softly, stroking her nose, and earn a soft snort of approval. I head with Misha back to the barbed wire fence and we hop over, and then cross back over to the other side with ease. Riding a horse did not seem so scary now, and I wish to ride horses more often. Jimmy meets us, smiling.
“How did the horse riding go?” Jimmy asks.
“It was very enjoyable,” I say, then turn to Misha. “Thank you.”
Misha nods. “Well, if you ever want to ride, you can do so now.”
“Thanks for teaching my sister how to ride a horse,” Jimmy says. “It’s something she’s always wanted to do.”
Misha nods again. “My pleasure.” He looks at both of us. “I suggest you leave here now. If you ever want to come back, I suggest you wait for me.” Misha smirks at me. “I suppose I will see you tomorrow at college.”
I nod in return. “Right.” I turn to Jimmy. “Ready?”
“I will walk with you back to your house,” Misha says.
“How did you get here?” I ask as we all beginning walking back over the hill to the street.
“I live near here,” Misha replies. “In fact, my house is coming up.” A few houses down the road he points to a one story red brick house, the blue Ford Focus parked in the driveway.
“You don’t live that far from us,” I say. “We’re only a block away. That’s always good to know.”
“Yeah, we could hang out together!” Jimmy says excitedly. “We normally don’t interact with our neighbors, parents being protective and all.”
“What about your parents?” I question, walking between Jimmy and Misha.
“We don’t live with our parents,” Misha says almost regretfully. “I take care of Masha.”
“You must have a well paid job to have a house and a car,” I respond.
Misha shrugs nonchalantly. “We both work to maintain our living,” he says. “In the end, I’m not complaining.”
“Optimism,” I say, “the mascot of people’s lives for centuries and yet the most ignored.”
We arrive shortly at our house and stop at the doorway. Misha says his goodbye and then leaves; Jimmy and I watch until he’s out of our vision before heading in.
“So, college tomorrow,” Jimmy says as we enter the living room. “Did you practice that piece for Professor Irthir?”
I grumble an incoherent response and I walk to the piano, searching for my music.
“I’ll take that as a no,” Jimmy laughs.
“So, high school tomorrow,” I begin. “Finish any of your homework?”
“Yes, actually” Jimmy says proudly. “I have my free night. Man, doing homework early is so rewarding!”
“To bad you don’t do early often enough,” I reply, opening the piano up; our piano was a pure white Yamaha. Originally my mom brought it, and now it is for me. I stare at the music in front of me, deciding how to go about practicing. I only had a page to do, but that didn’t mean the piece was easy.
“Says the person who is practicing the day before her lesson,” Jimmy smirks and then sits on the torn up leather brown chair in the middle of the living room.
“You really have to sit and watch me practice?” I ask, turning around on the piano bench.
“Yes,” Jimmy replies. “You don’t complain when Professor Irthir’s in the room watching you practice.”
“Because that’s his job,” I reply. “Look, fine, okay, you can watch.” I grumble to myself and then start practicing. I have no trouble with the right hand notes, but the left hand sometimes gives me trouble, so I decide to begin with doing the left hand only. I divide my hour of practice between learning the left hand notes and then the right hand notes, leaving the last twenty minutes practicing with both left and right hand. I begin to sound good by the end of the hour.
“Why do you always choose somber songs?” Jimmy asks as I close the piano up.
“I like them,” I reply. “I love the tone and meaning behind them.”
“How does that not put you in a depressed mood?” Jimmy questions and I shrug in response.
The rest of the day goes by in a blur, doing chores, homework and other common family activities. I listen to music whenever I can-it helps the day go by faster. Soon it is time for bed and I head to my bedroom, slightly weary. I set my alarm for six thirty in the morning- that would give me enough time to get ready and drop off my brother. I get into bed, hoping to fall asleep instantly, but that never happens.
It’s past midnight when the slightest sense of drowsiness falls over me. It doesn’t take me long after that to fall asleep.
I’m standing a dark room, a room I’ve never been in. The walls are old and have cracks. Cold wind comes through the cracks, making me shiver.
“Anybody here?” I shout. My voice echoes in the room. There’s no response and I sigh. Just where was I, and how did I get here?
I notice a door and head to it, but as I try to turn it, I realize the door is locked. There are no windows, and there is only one dim light on the ceiling. I wander aimlessly about the room, trying to find out anything that would give me a hint as to where I was. The door suddenly rattles and I jump, my heart pounding in my chest.
“This the one?” A voice on the other side whispers; my ears strain to listen.
“Sure is,” another voice replies, gruffer yet more monotone.
I quickly back to a corner of the room in desperate hope they would just go away, yet to my dismay the door rattles again and this time opens. Two shadowed figure step into the room, each with a knife. I breathe as quietly as I can, my body tense.
“We know you’re here,” the first voice says. “Make it easier on yourself and come forward.”
I have no intention of moving. I know all too well this would not end well whether I moved or not.
“Girl, don’t make this harder,” the gruffer voice says. “Let us do our job.”
I see the outline of one the guys nod in my direction and instantly I crouch lower to the ground as if I could just disappear into the ground. Too soon I have a pair of hands yank me up and I find myself face to face with the guy.
“Bet you’re wondering what this place is,” the first voice says.
I glance at the knife in his hand. “Some sort of torture chamber?” I suggest, finally deciding to speak.
“Torture? You hear that? She thinks we’re going to torture her!” The gruff guy says and then laughs, the first guy soon joining in. I stare in confusion.
“We don’t torture,” the first guy whispers in my ear. “We kill.”
A knife is immediately pressed to my throat, the tip digging into my skin slightly. I’m shaking uncontrollably, wondering what on Earth I could have ever done to deserve this and instantly my mind skips back to when Jimmy and I crossed the bridge.
“Don’t you guys have more interesting people to kill?” I ask. It’s a feeble attempt to stall for time, time I knew that would not help.
“We find you quite interesting,” the second guy says. “After all, you did cross the bridge and enter our home.”
I close my eyes, whispering to myself for anything, something to come save me.
“You knew the rules,” the first guy hisses.
“I didn’t!” I hiss back. “I swear it!”
“Regardless, you did it,” the second guy smirks. “And a lesson needs to be learned.”
“Please, can’t you spare me?” I beg.
“Do you want to think about that?” The first guy asks the second, who immediately replies with a no.
“Lesson learned,” They speak at the same time, and I feel the knife slice smoothly across my throat as I yell, “No!”
It takes me a moment to realize I’m sitting up in bed and not standing in a dark cold room. I toss my blanket off and let out a heavy sigh. That was the first time I have woken from a dream. I glance over to my clock, the red numbers shining 3:20AM in my face. I groan and flop back down only to stare at the ceiling. The quietness is quite unsettling and deafening to me and I soon reach for my iPod. I knew I wasn’t going to fall asleep after that. I wind up searching Google Maps to find the name of the horse barn and find the name of the barn is called Brother’s Barn. Two brothers own the barn, Hajime and Owari. Hajime is the older brother while Owari is the younger. I can’t find information beyond that because they apparently never interacted with the public and are very secretive.
I don’t know when I fell asleep again, but I find myself waking up to the blaring sound of my alarm clock. I slam my hand on it to shut it off and then sit up, groaning. That is going to go on my top ten night of most horrible sleep. I force myself to get out of bed and then trudge to the bathroom. I do the usual morning routine, get dressed, and then head downstairs where Jimmy is making pancakes.
“Is there anything you can’t make?” I question, sitting at the kitchen table.
“Nope, I don’t think so,” Jimmy grins in reply and then puts out two plates of food. “Mom and Dad already left for work.”
“I don’t understand how they can work so early in the morning,” I grumble as I start eating my pancakes.
“Well, they are morning birds,” Jimmy replies and sits next to me. “For me, it depends on the day.”
I don’t respond and we continue eating in silence. Seven fifteen rolls around too soon for me and soon Jimmy and I clean up the table and then gather our stuff for school. I lock the door behind us and then we head to my car. It takes fifteen minutes to get to Jimmy’s high school.
“Keep out of trouble, will you?” I grin as Jimmy gets out of the car.
“I should say the same for you,” Jimmy replies. “Aren’t you going to see M and M today?”
I glance at Jimmy with a confused look. “M and M? I’m not looking for candy.”
Jimmy gives a whole hearted laugh. “By M and M I mean Misha and Masha.”
I pause to hit myself mentally for my stupidity. “I see that now.”
Jimmy taps the side of the passenger door. “I’ll see you after school.”
I nod in return and watch Jimmy head into school before driving off to my college which was only about five minutes. My parents had a habit of wherever we lived we had to live in a location where everything was close. When I arrive at Colton College, I park in my usual spot on the street, which is under the trees. My college has a calming scene to it, which is one of the reasons why I chose to come here. My first class, Organic Chemistry, was just around the corner on the campus so I could make it with ease.
“Good morning, Sadie,” a familiar voice says and I turn to see my piano professor walking up to me.
“Hey Professor,” I say cheerily. “You just arrive as well?”
“If I had just arrived, I would still be in my car,” Professor Irthir smirks. “But to answer your question, I did arrive recently.” Professor Irthir: he has that kind of long hair you could probably barely just put into a ponytail, but his hair doesn’t reach even his shoulders. His hair is black, part wavy part curvy, with a tinge of grey on the sides even though he is only thirty eight.
I shake my head and give a smile as we walk. “Teaching anything interesting?”
Professor Irthir gives a shrug. “Just an orchestra and then a student before you.”
“I’m sure you’ll survive until then,” I joke, stopping in my tracks- I had to turn right to get to class.
“Good thing I have this,” Professor Irthir says and takes out his pack of gum.
I shake my head again and smile as he takes a piece out. “I’ll see you later.”
Professor Irthir nods in my direction before walking in the other direction. I let out a breath and continue walking to my class, a smile now plastered on my face. I head into the classroom, which was all the way down the hallway. Most of the hallways were the same style: white walls with various paintings and a grey carpet floor. Sometimes I think the people in the building would get bored and decide to put out a fake plant from time to time.
“Hey Sadie!” Another familiar voice says and this time I turn before entering the classroom door to see Misha and Masha walking down the hallway.
“I’m just bumping into everyone I know today,” I smirk as they approach me. “What are you guys doing here? You guys have Chemistry?”
“Yes,” Masha says, “and by the looks of it, we are in your class.”
“Really?” I say, surprised. “It’s already the fourth week of class.”
“You think we aren’t smart enough?” Misha questions in a mocking tone. “I never said you guys weren’t smart,” I say as we all walk into the classroom. I take my normal seat in the front far right desk. Misha sits behind me and Masha sits to the left of him. I take out my notebook while Professor Rozik is setting up the power point notes. My mind starts to wander and I barely note I am in the classroom. I think of Brother’s Barn and the two brothers that lived there. Were they the same two I had seen in my dream? You never dream up people, which put me into more confusion. Where have I ever seen these two people? Perhaps I could ask Professor Irthir to see if he could give me insight to the barn.
“Sadie,” Professor Rozik says, standing right in front of my desk. I glance up at her to see her frowning at me. “What can you tell me about Friedrich August Kekulé von Stradonitz ?”
I groan inwardly. Why was I getting picked on? She knows I pay attention in class most of the time and I have an A in the class so far. My brain quickly scans the name for facts. “Friedrich was one organic chemist who had the theory of chemical structure,” I begin slowly. “Basically the chemical structure is about how carbon atoms link to each other and bonding order of all the atoms in a molecule.”
“Thank you, Sadie,” Professor Rozik smiles and I have the urge to growl at her for putting me in the spotlight. She wanders over to Misha. “Misha, what can you tell me about the carbon atom?”
I turn in my desk to face Misha and see that other students turn as well. Misha isn’t flustered in the least. In fact, he sits up straighter.
“The carbon atom is a nonmetal for starters,” Misha begins, “and comes in two main known forms, diamond and graphite. Carbon is tetravalent, meaning it has four electrons that can form bonds.”
“Very good,” Professor Rozik nods.
That’s how the rest of the lesson goes with Professor Rozik walking around asking questions to various students. If a student doesn’t get the question right, they have to go to the front of the class and solve a problem. A bit extreme in my mind, but if it makes them learn then I see no problem to it. After three hours of lecture, Chemistry ends and I practically bolt out of the room.
“Sadie!” A voice calls and I halt to see Misha running to catch up.
“Showing that you’re not so dumb in Chemistry, huh?” I grin.
“So you did think I was dumb,” Misha says, crossing his arms against his chest.
“No, I never said such a thing,” I snort and resume walking out of the science building. I could not wait for piano lessons.
“Anyway, I was wondering if you wanted to hang out with Masha and me later today,” Misha says. “After classes and such.”
“I don’t see why not,” I reply. “Look, I have to go to class, so how about we meet in the snack room in an hour or so?”
Misha gives a smile. “Sure thing! You’re not bad yourself at Chemistry.”
I chuckle. “Please, the only thing that saves me is that I remember mostly everything from the lectures.”
Misha nods and then heads of to the math building while I walk to the music building, my spirits lightening up a trifle. The music building was right by the library which was convenient if I ever wish to head over and study. I take a breath and open the doors to enter the music building. Once I get in, the first thing I note is a man with short curly dusty blond hair with cold piercing dark blue eyes standing by the piano. I turn to head up the stairs, but his voice stops me.
“Do you know who I am, Sadie?” The guy asks.
I turn to face him, terror in my eyes. “Can’t say that I do.”
“I believe you and your brother crossed my bridge,” the guy says calmly.
Silently I think which of the brothers it could be. That’s when I glance at the guy’s neck and notice a quotation mark on the left side. “Look, I’m sorry, that was a mistake,” I say, my voice shaking near the end. “Can we forget out this?”
“I can’t forget trespassers,” the guy growls and takes a step forward.
“Don’t you think you’re taking this a bit too far?” I question.
“Oh, don’t worry, I won’t do anything to you,” the guy smirks and then pauses. “Yet.” With that, I watch as the guy walks out of the building. I don’t take my eyes off until he goes around the corner and is out of my view.
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